Scheduled Reloads Will Save Your Bacon

Posted on in Networking

For those new to Cisco networking, it is often difficult to remember that changes to a Cisco network device are applied immediately. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that changes should need to be applied, just like clicking the 'Apply' button on a Netgear wireless router. Unfortunately, that is not the case and the initial lesson in this fact can often result in an outage.

There's nothing worse than the feeling of impending doom when a change on a remote device causes your terminal to go unresponsive. If the device is somewhat nearby, it might mean a drive across town for a reboot. If the device is on the other side of the world, you might have to wake up someone to make that same drive.

On the other hand, if you get into the habit of scheduling a reload before making changes, any mistakes will be short-lived at worst.

All Cisco network devices (excepting perhaps those based on CatOS) support the reload in command to schedule a future reload. The next time you are going to make a change, try issuing a reload in 10 to schedule a reload in 10 minutes. If you botch the change, you can tell everyone that you are working on the problem and should have it fixed in a few minutes!

(One more idea: The reload command is great if you need to reboot devices during a maintenance period. Just issue reload at 04:00 and sleep through those 4 AM reboots.)

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